Australian Government - Department of Defence - Department of Veteran's Affairs

Separation, medical/death, surviving partners 


Separation from the ADF

Separating from the ADF changes your DHOAS entitlement, in regards to accruing service credit, accessing additional subsidy certificates and your eligible tier level.

If you rejoin at a later date, you may also become subject to rejoining provisions.

Subsidy certificate impacts 
  • You can receive only one subsidy certificate after you separate.
  • You must apply for this certificate within two years of separating from the ADF.
  • Subsidy certificates are valid for only 12 months so you need to ensure that you use your final certificate before it expires. There are no options to extend it. 
  • You may choose to apply for a subsidy certificate before separating, so that your one post-separation certificate can be accessed at a later date if necessary.
  • If you are making progressive draw-downs on a construction loan and you have separated, you may wish to defer applying for your one post-separation subsidy certificate until construction is complete. This is so you can receive subsidy payments that are calculated on the maximum home loan balance possible.
Impacts on your eligible tier level
  • If you have completed 20 or more years of service at the time of separation, you are entitled to receive your monthly subsidy payments at the tier 3 level. 
  • If you do not have a 20 year service history, your subsidy will be paid at the tier 1 level, even if you were entitled to a higher tier level while serving. 
  • If you do drop a tier level, your subsidy amount will reduce. 
Separation and service credit
  • Once you separate from the ADF you will no longer accrue additional entitlement to DHOAS. 
  • However, if at the time you separate you have completed the DHOAS qualifying period and accrued a service credit, you can access monthly subsidy payments on a DHOAS home loan using your available service credit.
Meeting Scheme conditions after separation
  • If you are already in receipt of a DHOAS subsidy and you separate from the ADF, you must advise DVA using the Change of Circumstances form
  • You are still required to occupy the home for 12 months from the date you start receiving subsidy payments.
  • If you received the lump sum within the last 12 months, a condition of which was to serve in the ADF for at least another year, you may have to repay the lump sum amount.

 

Medical - incapacity/invalidity

Where a member has been medically separated for a compensable condition, on or after 1 July 2008, special provisions apply to the member's entitlement to subsidy assistance under DHOAS.

A compensable condition is defined as a condition, disease, illness or injury suffered by a person in respect of which compensation is or has been payable under any of the following:

  • Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 
  • Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988; 
  • Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 

Under DHOAS, an incapacitated member who has less than eight years of service will have access to a minimum of eight years of subsidy assistance (at tier 1 benefits).

Incapacitated members who have served for eight years or longer will have access to subsidy assistance based on the total number of months they have served in the ADF. Their qualifying period is waived when working out their accrued entitlement and subsidy will be payable at the tier level applicable at the time of separation.

For example, if you are a Permanent member who has served for 10 years at the time you separate (after 1 July 2008 and within two years of applying), you will be entitled to 10 years of DHOAS benefits.

You will also receive this subsidy assistance at your eligible tier level. With 10 years service, you are entitled to tier 2 benefits.

 

Death benefit/surviving partner

When a member dies in service or subsequent to his or her separation from the ADF, entitlement to the DHOAS subsidy may transfer to the member's surviving partner*.

The DHOAS benefits that your partner was receiving, or was eligible to receive, when he or she passed away transfer to you.

If you are unsure whether or not your partner was eligible to receive benefits under DHOAS, or for how long, please call us to discuss your personal situation. It will be helpful if you have the details of your partner’s service history available.

If you would like to learn more about DHOAS eligibility and entitlement, please see Eligibility Requirements, DHOAS Home Loans and Calculating Subsidy.

* A person is considered the partner of another person if the two persons have a relationship as a couple (whether the persons are different sexes or the same sex) and ordinarily live with each other on a permanent and bona fide domestic basis.

How your partner benefits are transferred

How your partner’s DHOAS benefits pass to you will depend on whether or not your partner was already receiving subsidy payments into a DHOAS home loan.

The table below provides a brief overview of the different actions required to transfer your partner’s DHOAS benefits to you.

 

Table: Actions required to transfer partner’s benefits to you
Current DHOAS home loan? Is your  name on loan? 

Will subsidy payments continue? 

Action required to continue subsidy?  Action to start or restart subsidy payments? Meeting conditions of scheme If payments cease, can I reapply?
Yes Yes,  your name is on loan Yes, they will continue to be paid into loan (until entitlement expires or change to loan ceases payment). Nil Nil Continue  Yes, but you have access to only one subsidy certificate. 
Yes No, your name is not on loan No, they will be suspended, until title is  transferred

Transfer title, refinance loan in your name

Advise DVA when the transfer of title and loan refinance are due to occur, and ensure no other changes are made to the loan.

Continue 

Yes, but you have access to only one subsidy certificate.
No N/a N/a N/a Apply for subsidy certificate, provide to Home Loan Provider of choice and take out DHOAS home loan.  Submit to DVA Subsidy Authorisation Request Form, start meeting conditions, inc. 12 mth occupancy.  No, you have used your one-only subsidy certificate on opening your DHOAS home loan. 

 

For further details, please select one of the following:

1. Your partner was receiving subsidy payments under DHOAS. 

a. Your name is already on the DHOAS-subsidised home loan  
b. Your name is not on the DHOAS-subsidised home loan

 2. Your partner was not yet receiving subsidy payments under DHOAS

 

Your partner was receiving subsidy payments under DHOAS

a) Your name is already on the DHOAS home loan

In this case, the subsidy payments will continue to be made into your existing home loan until:

  •  The service credit that your partner had accrued is expended
  •  You sell the property or you repay the loan
  •  You make a change to the existing home loan or the subsidised property which results in your subsidy payments ceasing

There are also other limited circumstances that may constitute a subsidy-ceasing event, so you are advised to call DHOAS to discuss your situation before making any changes to your DHOAS-subsidised loan.

This is very important given that you are a surviving partner and have access to only one subsidy certificate, which you need to restart subsidy payments on a new or amended home loan.

b) Your name is not on the loan

You are entitled to receive your partner’s benefits under DHOAS but you first need to transfer the title of the property to yourself and refinance the home loan into your name.

Until then, the subsidy payments being made into the DHOAS-subsidised loan will be suspended. This will be from the date of your partner’s passing until the date of the title of the property is transferred.

To restart subsidy payments, you need to notify DVA that  the subsidised loan is being refinanced into your name. DVA will then liaise with your Home Loan Provider to ensure your DHOAS benefits are protected. Once the refinance is completed, DVA will release the suspended payments and recommence ongoing payments into your new loan.

You will need to continue to meet the Scheme conditions for payments to continue. 

The payments will continue until the service credit that your partner had accrued is expended; you sell the property; you close the loan; or you make some other change to the loan or the subsidised property that results in the subsidy payments ceasing.

Please note: If your DHOAS home loan changes and your subsidy payments stop for any reason, you will need a new subsidy certificate to restart subsidy payments and access any remaining entitlement. You only have access to one subsidy certificate as a surviving partner, and you must apply for this certificate within two years of your partner's passing, or their discharge from the ADF (if applicable), whichever is earlier. For this reason, you are advised to call DHOAS to discuss your situation before making any changes to your DHOAS-subsidised loan.

 

Your partner was not receiving subsidy payments under DHOAS

If your partner was not receiving DHOAS and you would like to access the subsidy, you will need to apply to DVA for a subsidy certificate as a surviving partner.

You take this certificate to one of the three nominated Home Loan Providers to take out a DHOAS home loan. Your home loan provider will report to DVA the details of your loan once it settles.

At this time, you also provide to DVA a completed Subsidy Authorisation Request Form (SARF), indicating you are meeting the Scheme conditions.

Once DVA has received the loan details and completed Subsidy Authorisation Request Form, it will calculate your subsidy amount and commence your subsidy payments.

The payments will continue until the service credit that your partner had accrued is expended; you sell the property; you close the loan; or you make some other change to the loan or the subsidised property that results in the subsidy payments ceasing.

Please note: If your DHOAS home loan changes and your subsidy payments stop for any reason, you will not have access to another subsidy certificate. This means you will not be able to restart subsidy payments and access any remaining entitlement. For this reason, you are advised to call DHOAS to discuss your situation before making any changes to your DHOAS-subsidised loan.

 

One-only subsidy certificate

It is important to note that as a surviving partner, you are able to apply for only one DHOAS subsidy certificate. You must apply for this certificate within two years of your partner's passing, or their discharge from the ADF (if applicable), whichever is earlier.

This means if you are currently receiving DHOAS subsidy payments, you will have only one more opportunity and a limited window of time in which to set-up subsidy payments on a new or amended DHOAS home loan.

Or, if you are not yet receiving DHOAS, you will only have one opportunity to open a new DHOAS home loan and commence subsidy payments.

If for any reason this DHOAS home loan is closed or changed, or your payments are ceased (for example you can’t meet the conditions of the Scheme), you will be unable to apply for DHOAS again and you will not be able to access any remaining service credit.

You are advised to speak with DHOAS about your plans before making any changes to your DHOAS home loan, to ensure you understand the impact on your subsidy payments.


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